I’ve been seeing a lot of lists lately that claim to have all the questions you need to ask your wedding photographer before you book. What I’ve realized while reading through these lists is that many of the questions are irrelevant to the couples trying to pick a photographer. Some questions are outdated and other questions require photography knowledge that many couples don’t have. I wanted to simplify the list to make the process easier and more helpful.  These are the only questions you need to ask a potential wedding photographer.

1.     Is our date available and what is your pricing?

Obviously, you need to find out if your date is available with a photographer before you ask anything else. From there, ask to see a pricing guide so that you can see your package options. Don’t be afraid to ask what some of the items in the package entail!

2.     Do we get all the high-resolution digital files and print rights? 

Some photographers do not give back digital files. Some photographers only give back some. Ask your photographer if you get all of the high-resolution digital files and print rights. It is my belief that couples should not have to pay extra for all the memories of their day.

A side note: Please print your photos! Whether it’s through your photographer or through a different way, get them printed!

3.     Can we see a full wedding?

When you view a photographer’s website, their gallery usually only shows their best work. Ask to see a full wedding from the photographer from beginning to end. This way you can see their work for family photos, getting ready, and reception and not just couple portraits. Most likely, they can point you to some blog posts on their website or show you a photo album or gallery when you meet with them.  

4.     What happens if you get ill?

Although it’s not common, sometimes photographers end up very ill or in the hospital right before a wedding. Ask your photographer what is in place in case that happens.

5.     Do you have insurance?

Make sure your photographer has business, equipment, and liability insurance. Photographers should have all of these for their business. They protect the photographer and everyone at your wedding.

Those 5 questions are the most important ones you can ask a wedding photographer! However, even more importantly, are the questions you need to ask yourselves.

1.     How important is photography to us?

Make a list of the big things you need for your wedding and place them in order of importance. The top 3 things on your list should be the things you spend the most money on. Once you know where photography falls on your list, you can ask yourself the next question.

A side note: Photography and videography are the two things that on your 50th anniversary together, you can look back and remember every detail of the day. One of the biggest regrets of brides is not spending more on photography and videography.

2.     How much are we willing to spend on photography?

Once you answer the above question, you can figure out your budget. Depending on where photography falls on your list, you can decide how much are you willing to spend on it. The average cost of a wedding photographer in the U.S. is $2400, so keep that in mind when planning.

A side note: Please, please, please, do not just have a friend take pictures. Most beginning photographers have not experienced everything that goes into a wedding day and haven’t had much experience. If you’re going to hire a newer photographer, make sure they have second shot at least 5 weddings and remember: ask to see a full gallery of their work!

3.     Do we like this photographer’s work and does it fit our style?

When you are looking at a photographer’s website, take into consideration the style of their photos. Many photographers have different editing and shooting styles. Pick a style that matches you as a couple and the feel of your wedding. LOVE your photographer’s work!

4.     Do we like the photographer/get along with them?

Your wedding photographer is going to be with you ALL day at your wedding. Pick a photographer that is friendly, organized, and that you think you will get along with.

If you ask these questions of your photographer and yourself, it will help you make the best decision regarding your wedding photography!